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Thai Salad of Coconut Chicken, Lime, Basil, and Glass Noodles

Thai summer salad features coconut chicken, burstingly fresh basil leaves, fiery chiles, and light glass noodles made from mung-bean starch. With each bite, distinct salty, hot, sour, and sweet nuances show themselves.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2006


  • 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bottom 4 inches only, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
  • 7 ounces glass (cellophane) noodles
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 Thai or regular shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh Thai chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups packed Thai or regular basil leaves
  • 3 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced


  1. Bring coconut milk, half of the lemongrass, and 1 tablespoon fish sauce almost to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Reduce to a simmer, and cook, flipping chicken once, until it is cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and cut crosswise into thin slices. Return chicken to coconut milk mixture; cover, and set aside.

  2. Soak noodles in boiling water according to package instructions, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

  3. Stir together lime zest and juice, sugar, shallots, chiles, basil, and lime leaves in a medium bowl. Add noodles, and toss to combine. Divide noodle mixture among 6 serving bowls. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken, and evenly divide among bowls. Drizzle each bowl with some coconut milk sauce.


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